Cotswold District Council prepares to issue £150 Council Tax Rebate to eligible househol

Cotswold District Council Press Release – 11 March 2022

Households in council tax bands A-D will soon be eligible to receive a non-repayable £150  Council Tax Rebate from the Government to help households with rising energy bills.

The Council has now received the guidance for distributing the Government’s Energy Bills Rebate scheme. Over the coming weeks, the Council will be working to ensure it is ready to start making payments to those eligible.

Payments will first be made to residents who pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit in April 2022.

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Mike Evemy, said, “We are pleased that the Government has acknowledged the increasing cost of energy bills and the rising cost of living by providing some support through these £150 payments.

“I encourage residents eligible for the rebate to sign up to pay  Council Tax by Direct Debit using our new online payment system, OpenPortal. This will ensure we have your bank details on file and can issue the £150 rebate as quickly as possible. Our OpenPortal is also the easiest way to set up and track your bills and is available for you to use 24/7.”

More information on the rebate and how to set up an OpenPortal account will be sent out with residents’ council tax bills which will be delivered in the middle of March. Alternatively, residents can set up an account by visiting cotswold.gov.uk/openportal

Contrary to some reports, the ‘rebate’ will not be taken off Council Tax bills when they are issued but will be a separate payment.

Residents who are eligible but unable to set up an online account via OpenPortal will be contacted separately by the Council with information on how they will receive the rebate. The Council is currently working to find the best way to make payments to those who don’t use the internet and will provide that information as soon as it’s available.

Cllr Evemy added: “We understand that many residents may have questions about the rebate.  However, please do wait until you have received and read through the information in your Council Tax bill before contacting us.”

When signing up for OpenPortal residents will need their Council Tax reference number which can be found on a Council Tax bill. Your Council Tax account number and your property valuation band can also be found on your annual bill.

The Council will also be setting up a discretionary fund to support households who may be in need of support from the Energy Bills Rebate but are not eligible for the national scheme. More information on this scheme will be released in the coming weeks.

OpenPortal is a new system set up where residents can view their bills and information online. The system also allows for Business Rates accounts to be viewed online, as well as any Benefits Claims. By signing up to OpenPortal, residents can move to a paperless system for their bills helping to reduce our paper consumption and reducing our carbon footprint.

To find out more and register for OpenPortal, visit cotswold.gov.uk/openportal